Mastercard announced Monday (November 8) that it will be launching crypto-funded Mastercard payment cards in partnership with three service providers in the Asia Pacific region (APAC).

For the first time, consumers and businesses in APAC will be able to apply for crypto-linked Mastercard credit, debit or pre-paid cards that will enable them to instantly convert their cryptocurrencies into traditional fiat currency, which can be spent wherever Mastercard is accepted around the world. 

While some merchants already accept payments in Bitcoin or Ethereum, this form of digital currency acceptance is not widespread.

Now, cardholders are able to instantly convert their cryptocurrencies into traditional fiat currency which can be spent both online and offline, where Mastercard is accepted. According to Mastercard, the currency will always enter its network as traditional fiat currency.

Cryptocurrencies are many things to people — an investment, a disruptive technology, or a unique financial tool. As interest and attention surges from all quarters, their real-world applications are  now emerging beyond the speculative.

Rama Sridhar, Executive Vice President, Digital and Emerging Partnerships and New Payment Flows, Asia Pacific, Mastercard

Mastercard’s Global Crypto Card Programme

The three digital asset service providers that Mastercard is partnering with are Amber Group, Bitkub in Thailand, and CoinJar in Australia.

They are also the first companies are the first APAC-based  cryptocurrency platforms to join Mastercard’s global Crypto Card Program.

This July, Mastercard announced that it will enhance its card program for cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges, making it simpler for partners to convert cryptocurrency to traditional fiat currency. 

Image: Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach (centre) speaking at WEF Annual Meeting via Coindesk

It is working with Evolve Bank & Trust and Paxos Trust Company, the leading blockchain infrastructure and regulated stablecoin issuance platform, and Circle, a global financial technology firm and the principal operator of the USD Coin (USDC).

In a previous press release, Mastercard said it will test this new capability to enable more banks and crypto companies to offer a card option to people wanting to spend their digital assets, together with its partners.

Featured Image Credit: Coincu News

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